Yesterday my boss said something to me that made me start to think about things in a different way. He told me that he would have more respect for me on the day I can stand up and ask for help, admit I need support or need to take some time off, than if I just throw myself into work and pretend I am OK.
I do that a lot you see, I always have. Work has always been my safe haven. The one place that I can be “normal” and pretend I am OK.
Except, as my boss pointed out, I am not OK and I probably won’t be for a long time. I know that deep down but it is like I am programmed to resist. It is as if I must be strong and not let myself break and ask for help. I know I was abused, I know I am mentally ill and deep down I even know none of it is my fault. Yet I am terrified of admitting I am struggling and need help.
I don’t know why because work has supported me 100% since finding out what happened to me and how sick I am. They have given me time off and provided endless support. I know that I can trust them. Yet I am still afraid that asking for help or needing time off will let them down or disappoint them.
It isn’t just with work either. It is the same with my family and my friends. I feel that asking them for help will disappoint them and let them down, even though I know that they are all here for me.
Yet here is the thing that I started to realise when having the conversation with my boss; it is not work or my family or my friends that I am afraid of disappointing, it is me.
My abusers programmed me to believe that asking for help and crying was bad and a sign of weakness and over time I have convinced myself that that is true. I have grown to believe that being strong is to stand alone and that asking for help is a sign of weakness but I am starting to think that I was wrong.
Asking for help does not mean I am weak or incompetent. In fact it means quite the opposite. It means that I am intelligent enough and strong enough to know that I need help.
I have spent years facing all of this on my own but I am beginning to see that that wasn’t strength but was in fact pride. I have been so afraid of being judged that I have never asked for help when I have needed it.
Yet here is the thing; there should be no shame in asking for help.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but is a sign of vulnerability. Vulnerability is the beginning of acceptance.
Asking for help is not a mistake. The only mistake we can make is not asking for help. Sometimes the bravest thing that we can do is admit that we cannot face our trials alone.
True strength is letting go of our pride and admitting we need help. Courage is letting people in to share our trials and to show them our vulnerability.
There is no shame in asking for help.
I am a strong person. I have gone through hell and I am still standing but now I really need someone to take my hand and tell me that everything will be OK.
I was abused. I am going through the police process. I suffer from Depression, Anxiety, PTSD and BPD. I self-harm a lot. I am really ill and I am scared. I am not coping with everything as well as I lead people to believe and that terrifies me. The last time I was vulnerable was when those men were hurting me and everyone left me on my own. I was vulnerable and nobody would help me. I am scared that will happen all over again.
I cannot do this alone. I am sad and I am in pain. I am frightened and I am vulnerable.
I am fragile and I am broken.
Somehow I must try to overcome my fear of reaching out. Why? Because I need help. I need help to find my wings.
And needing help is something none of us should ever be ashamed of.
For there is no shame in asking for help!
Thanks for reading.
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